Meet the VCs who are dominating health tech

Covid-19 has brought a surge of attention and money to the healthcare sector, but healthcare tech was already heating up before the pandemic. In 2018, health tech startups raised $21.3 billion in funding across 2,249 deals. It’s only gotten livelier since then, with 3,315 health tech deals raking in $50 billion last year, according to PitchBook.

Health technology has also weathered the market storm far better than other sectors this year. “We haven’t seen things slow down too much due to volatility and public markets. Apparently some ratings are going down. But the space is still pretty robust,” says Rebecca Springer, senior health care analyst at PitchBook.

We’ve compiled a list of the biggest dealmakers in health tech — some industry pioneers, some rising stars. These investors have been involved in PitchBook’s largest healthcare technology deals in the last five years. You think big – and invest even bigger. Hemant Taneja and Beth Seidenberg were both early investors in Livongo, which was sold to Teladoc Health for $18.5 billion, the largest healthcare technology acquisition of all time. Vijay Pande, Head of Life Sciences at Andreessen Horowitz, led the $300 million Series B funding round for Devoted Health, a digital health startup focused on Medicare beneficiaries. OAK HC/FT’s Annie Lamont was the largest investor in cloud health startup Athenahealth at the time of the IPO; it sold for $17 billion last year.

The increasing role of technology companies in a field as sensitive and vital as healthcare obviously raises many questions. A16z’s Pande compared healthcare over the next twenty years to funding over the past twenty years. “If we go back to the 2000s and we’re talking on Wall Street about computers doing what humans do, people would say that’s ridiculous,” he says. “It’s not like there won’t be doctors in twenty years the same way there are people on Wall Street, but right now they’re being charged with tools that will be transformative.”

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Although healthcare is a specialized sector, I was struck by the diversity of backgrounds among the successful investors on the list. Some have formal training as physicians or researchers, others have experienced the healthcare landscape on the business side over the years. Different perspectives matter when advising healthcare startups: “I’ve spoken to founders who are medical doctors trying to solve a clinical problem that they’ve identified in their education or in their own practice, but I don’t understand not really the business side of things,” explains Springer. “You don’t just have to know medicine, there’s a whole bunch of additional skills that you still need to bring to it.”

Westlake BioPartners’ Beth Seidenberg was a Physician who trained at the National Institutes of Health with none other than Anthony Fauci (personally a “great guy”) and then was a pharmaceutical executive for twenty years before attempting her own investing. Annie Lamont came from the other end of the spectrum. Lamont fell in love with venture capital investing in the 1980s and then focused on healthcare. “There was no one focused on that,” she says. “So I did that kind of expertise and practice.”

Baille Giffords’ Peter Singlehurst is the only true generalist on the list, but he argues that it’s a strength, not an obstacle, when his private investment team discovers a health-tech company. “There seems to be a general consensus that specialist investors do healthcare and non-specialist investors can’t do everything else. We don’t think that’s true,” he explains.

All of the investors on the list have specific and lofty goals for transforming the healthcare industry. However, many also made clear the efforts we still need to make, and they did not claim that technology alone could fix the weaknesses of our current system.

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“We’re in the process of developing three healthcare technologies, so we still have so much to do to really reverse the trend of rising healthcare costs and poor outcomes,” said Sofia Guerra, an investor at Bessemer Ventures.

Read the full list here.

Lucy Brewster
Twitter: @lucyrbrewster
E-mail:[email protected]
Submit a deal for the Term Sheet newsletter here.

Jackson Fordyce curated the deals section of today’s newsletter.


deep instincta New York-based deep learning cybersecurity company, raised $62.5 million in funding. BlackRock led the round and was joined by investors including Chrysalis Investments, millenniumand Unbound.

DataGuarda Munich-based data protection, information security and compliance platform for small and medium-sized businesses and corporations, has raised €61 million ($59.98 million) in Series B funding. Morgan Stanley expansion capital led the round and joined A peak.

theorya remote-based gaming studio, raised $50 million in Series B funding. maker fund led the round and was joined by investors including NEA and a16z.

Brightflow AIa Walnut, California-based financial intelligence platform for small businesses to manage cash flow, raised $15 million in Series A funding led by Haymaker Ventures.

Answer.ioa Kuala Lumpur-based conversational commerce platform, raised $7 million in funding. headline led the round and was joined by investors including Altair Capital, Clever partnership capital, Sterling Oak Groupand Calendula Ventures.

bit greena New York-based blockchain climate investment platform, raised $5 million in funding through the crowdfunding platform republic.

headquartersa Singapore-based financial management platform for Web3 teams, raised $5 million in pre-seed funding co-led by capital city, Forge Venturesand Mass Mutual Ventures.

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[untitled]a New York-based music creation and collaboration platform, raised $4.6 million in seed funding. General Catalyst, Mirroring Capital, Shine Capital, Not boring capitaland other angels.

Bodle learninga Tulsa, Oklahoma-based gaming education company raised $3 million in seed funding. Alpine ventures led the round and was joined by investors including KCRiseFund, Atento Capital, Capital of the Lightship, Cortado Ventures, rise of the restand other.

risea San Francisco-based treatment company for patients undergoing surgery has raised $2.6 million in pre-seed funding co-led by HCVC and Boutique Venture Partners.

meteran Oakland-based metabolic health platform, raised $1 million in pre-seed funding led by Michael Adams, John Broderickand other angels.


Shamrock Capital acquired a majority stake AnswerLab, a New York-based independent UX research firm. Financial terms were not disclosed.


BlackRock long-term private equity agreed to acquire a majority stake Oral health paradigma Lincoln, Neb. based oral surgery and digital dentistry platform, by InTandem capital partner. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Zelis acquired Payer compassa Plano, Texas-based medical billing company, by Spectrum Equity and Healthcare company partners. Financial terms were not disclosed.


CALFa Jiangsu, China-based battery supplier to electric vehicle makers plans to raise up to HK$13.6 billion ($1.7 billion) in a Hong Kong IPO.


PlayUp limiteda Sydney-based online betting company, has agreed to go public through a merger with IG Acquisition Corp., a SPAC. A deal values ​​the company at $350 million.


HarbourVest Partnersa Boston-based investment firm, raised over $3 billion for its twelfth fund focused on buyout, micro-buyout, venture capital and growth capital investments through partnership investments.


Edison Partnersa Princeton, NJ based growth capital company Kelly Ford to the COO.

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